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Kennedy’s Three Hits Help Padres Stop Phillies

Times Staff Writer

Terry Kennedy would like to take his player representative job and shove it. What he means is that it’s sickening duty, considering he has to deal with owners and whatnot.

Of course, the biggest problem is that he ends up talking more about business than baseball. Reporters ask him about the current collective bargaining agreement negotiations, but he’d rather talk about collective batting averages. He was reared around baseball. He loves it. His dad, Bob, is the general manager for the Houston Astros. And Terry likes big Padre crowds because “it shows they appreciate baseball, good ‘ol baseball.”

And so Wednesday night’s 3-1 Padre victory was pleasant for Kennedy, considering he got to chat more about fastballs than fast talk. He had three hits Wednesday, including an exhausting triple and a two-run double in the sixth inning that put the Padres in the lead for good.

Meanwhile, LaMarr Hoyt (6-4), who has won four straight games, tied his career high in strikeouts with nine, and pitched a complete game. Hoyt says he’s pitching better than he did when he won the Cy Young award, mainly because he’s not fat anymore, and because he has equally fine mastery of four pitches.

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The strikeouts left the big impact, though. He had seven through five innings. Where was Kurt Bevacqua? In New York recently, Bevacqua had tired of Dwight Gooden strike outs and made his own K sign for Hoyt, when Hoyt pitched against Gooden.

“I had to wait five innings to use it,” Bevacqua had said.

Said Hoyt of his strikeouts: “I’m going to have these days. I have real good breaking balls when I’m throwing them right . . . When I have good breaking balls, I can strike guys out.”

Of course, this means nothing if the Padres can’t score runs. Through five innings, they trailed 1-0. But Graig Nettles walked to start the sixth, and Kevin McReynolds singled. Up came Kennedy to face Phillie starter Charles Hudson.

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“I wanted to get something I could pull to get the guy over,” Kennedy said.

He did pull the ball, as it landed in right field, bounding to the bullpen out there. He huffed and puffed his way into second, feeling much better than he had in the second inning when he hit a triple to right.

“Bleep those triples,” he said. “Those things stink.”

He doesn’t do it often, though, considering he’s as slow as those current negotiations.

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“I can run some triples into doubles,” he said.

That double in the sixth, however, scored the two runs Hoyt needed. In the ninth, Steve Garvey hit his ninth home run, making it 3-1, a ball that was hit on a line straight out over the left field fence.

Hoyt, meanwhile, got his ninth strikeout against Glenn Wilson in the eighth. But Rick Schu singled, and pinch hitter Greg Gross (who was booed because the 30,352 fans thought he was Kevin Gross, who had fought Tim Flannery Tuesday) singled, too. Out came pitching coach Galen Cisco, and Goose Gossage stood in the bullpen.

The next batter was pinch hitter Tim Corcoran. He lined a ball hard at Hoyt, who guarded his belly with his glove. He went to second immediately, and Jerry Royster turned the double play.

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And Royster had started against a right-handed pitcher only because Tim Flannery was out of the lineup Wednesday, having awakened with a sore left shoulder, so sore that he couldn’t lift it over his head.

It was his head that he’d been worried about. Phillie pitcher John Denny had hit him in the back of the head in the third inning of Tuesday’s game, and that eventually led to that sixth inning fight. It was during the fight that Flannery was slammed to the ground by Kevin Gross, much like a body slam in pro wrestling.

Only this was for real.

And that’s how he injured his left shoulder.

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Said Flannery: “I can’t move my shoulder at all. But it’s all in the muscles, so I should be back in a couple of days. I had been worried about my head when I went to bed. I couldn’t sleep because everything hurt. And then my shoulder stiffened up.”

Flannery, not the feisty type, has thought deeply about the fight. He’s a preacher’s son.

“Getting hit in the head is different than getting hit in the body,” Flannery said Wednesday. "(Mario) Soto once hit me in the ribs, and I had three broken ribs. I wasn’t that upset because it was in the body. But you saw what happened to Dickie Thon. And the more I thought about it, the more I was mad about it.

“Today, I was questioning my reaction, but I would’ve done the same thing again . . . I was thinking: ‘Did I do something wrong?’ But who am I? Just a doll that lets shots be taken at it?”

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Padre Notes Donald Fehr of the Players’ Assn., who is barnstorming through the major leagues, made a stop in San Diego on Wednesday night, briefing the Padres and Phillies on negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement. The Padres then voted on whether or not the association’s executive board should be given the authority to set a strike date, and the vote was 24-1 in favor. This was a secret ballot, so it’s not known who voted against it. Meanwhile, the Phillies elected to wait before voting. Terry Kennedy, the Padres’ player representative, said: “Right now, it (a strike) is really up in the air . . . They (the owners) for sure don’t want a strike. The game doesn’t need it. It wouldn’t be productive.” . . . The Padres signed three of their free agent draft picks Wednesday--No. 1 pick Joey Cora, a second baseman from Vanderbilt University; No. 12 pick Billy Blount, a left-handed pitcher from San Diego State; and No. 13 pick Jerald Cook, a first baseman from Lamar. . . . A fight obviously isn’t over when it’s over, because they’re still talking about Tuesday night’s scuffle between Tim Flannery and John Denny. Phillie Manager John Felske still was angry Wednesday that Kurt Bevacqua had been the first to bolt out of the dugout when Denny and Flannery began pushing on each other. Said Bevacqua: “I’ve been playing this game for 18 years, and I can tell when something’s about to happen. I chased Billy North when he threw a bat at Doug Bird once. No one (in the dugout) had an idea. But I could tell by the way he went to get his bat (that North was about to throw it). One day, I’ll end up looking like a fool (by running out too early). But I didn’t go out to fight. I went out to protect the players on my team.” . . . There’s also the question of whether Denny intentionally hit Flannery in the head in the third inning, which led to the fight in the sixth inning. Some think it was in retaliation to Padre starter Andy Hawkins hitting Juan Samuel in the back in the second inning. Said Padre Manager Dick Williams: “Samuel was hit in the back. Whether that (hitting Flannery) was retaliation, I don’t know. But they led 3-0; it was a 0-2 pitch and he (Flannery) was the leadoff man in the inning. By all rights, that’s the spot to do it.”

PADRES AT A GLANCE

Scorecard FIRST INNING Phillies--Stone singled to left. Samuel grounded out to third, Stone taking third and then scoring on Garvey’s throwing error. Hayes struck out. Schmidt struck out. One run (unearned), one hit, none left.

SIXTH INNING

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Padres--Nettles walked. McReynolds singled to right, Nettles taking second. Kennedy doubled down the line in right, Nettles and McReynolds scoring. Martinez tried bunting down third, but was thrown out. Templeton lined out to third, Kennedy doubled up at second. Two runs, two hits.

EIGHTH INNING

Padres--Carman took the mound. Garvey homered to left, his ninth. Nettles struck out. McReynolds struck out. Kennedy struck out. One run, one hit, none left.


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